Committed to grow, invest across India: Tim Cook tells PM Modi

Apple CEO asks for policy stability to continue, India wants long-term ties

Surajeet Das GuptaSourabh Lele New Delhi
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted that he shared PM Narendra Modi’s vision of the positive impact technology can have on India’s future | PHOTO: PTI

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted that he shared PM Narendra Modi’s vision of the positive impact technology can have on India’s future | PHOTO: PTI

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In his third stop after Mumbai and Hyderabad during his ongoing India visit, Apple CEO Tim Cook called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. In his interaction with the PM, Cook said Apple was committed to growing and investing across the country.
Cook tweeted after the meeting that he shared Modi’s vision of the positive impact technology can make on India’s future — from education and developers to manufacturing and environment. The PM also took to Twitter, saying it was a “delight to exchange views on diverse topics and highlight the tech-powered transformations taking place in India.’’          

Beyond the social media exuberance, Cook, who’s on a four-day visit to inaugurate the first two Apple stores in India, urged the government to ensure continuation in policy stability. In his meetings with the PM and the two key ministers overseeing the electronics sector — communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and minister of state for IT and electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar — the Apple CEO also stressed the need for sustained support in building the component supply chain ecosystem. A step-up in skilling of labour for the electronics industry was also discussed.
The government has asked Apple to deepen its production of iPhones and investment in the country as the Cupertino-based tech giant seeks to look beyond China. Vaishnaw highlighted this in a Twitter message after meeting Cook. 

He also said that the meeting focused on job creation, especially for women, while ‘’charting a long-term and strong relationship’’. This comes in the backdrop of 72 per cent of Apple’s (including vendors and suppliers) blue-collared workers in India being women.      
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Chandrasekhar too tweeted: “We discussed deepening and broadening manufacturing, exports, skilling of youth, expanding app innovation economy and job creation.”

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Government sources aware of the discussions said:  “ Cook has expressed contentment with government policies while asking more support in some areas.’’ One of the sources said that Cook asked for more provisions to improve skilling in the country.
Cook has sought support to build a stronger supply chain at a time when the government has eased the entry of many components suppliers of Apple, including those from China, in a step to balance geopolitical challenges with business, an official said.

Policy stability ask of Apple is being seen in the context of changing taxation rates. For instance, the hike in GST (goods and services tax) on mobile devices from 12 per cent to 18 per cent in 2020 – just before the PLI (production-linked incentive scheme) was launched—had jolted the industry.
As for deepening of Apple’s production and exports of iPhones from India, its three vendors --Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron--have not only crossed their minimum commitments under the PLI scheme but have even crossed the maximum FOB value till which the financial incentive will be given in FY23 itself.  

First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 9:56 PM IST

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